Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What is Happiness?

Well, I completely missed marking my 300th post. Oh well. Some blogger I am.

Yesterday AndreAnna over at Diary of a Modern Matriarch posed a fairly serious question. Are you happy with how your life has turned out? And, that got me thinking.

I am happy. Am I where I thought I would end up? In some ways yes and in some ways no.

I always wanted to be a mother and now I have two wonderful children. My husband is the kind of guy I was always looking for -- a good guy. And I mean that in every sense of the word.

We are not where I thought we would be financially. We're not even where we were four years ago. Our financial road has had a lot of potholes. I still struggle with wanting "stuff." But then there are times when the four of us are together, laughing over something silly, or simply spending time together when I think "This is enough. This is all I need."

I finally feel as though I'm in a job that was meant for me. If I could have crafted a job in my mind, the job that I have would come pretty darn close. Of course it's frustrating at times, but as my mom has always reminded me "Every job has some shit in it." My job allows me to use all the parts of my brain. It allows me to be creative and analytical. My mind is constantly stimulated and I'm always learning. I get to be part of some really cool new advances in the world of academic libraries. I get to meet some really awesome people.

Of course there are times when I look back and wonder how my life would have turned out if I'd made different decisions. I don't sit around and wring my hands about these decisions, though. One I look back at frequently is my decision as to which college to attend. During my senior year I was hell bent on attending a women's college and had been accepted to two. At the last moment I decided to attend UGA and I often wonder where I would have ended up if I hadn't. I certainly wouldn't have met that asshole boyfriend my freshman year. The one that I allowed to derail me for about a year.

But I did. And here I am. And though my life hasn't turned out like I thought it would necessarily, it is a good life. And yes, I am happy.


AndreAnna said...

Hot damn, I got everyone's mind reeling huh?

I'm glad you're happy. I'm happy to. And I think that wishing and hoping is what keeps us happy because if we had everything we'd hoped for, then what's left?

Laurel said...

I don't know anyone whose life turned out exactly as they planned. I think the baptism into adulthood is realizing that life is full of alternate routes, but we can still find joy in the journey. My friend and I were talking about this very thing the other day. We came to the conclusion that having everything would ultimately be very bad for our character, our empathy, and our understanding.

I used to teach at a private school in CA, and these 7th and 8th graders had just about everything. They'd been everywhere. I asked some of them, "What do you have to look forward to?"

I'm so glad you love your job. And your right. Every job has some shoddy aspects. My brother says if it didn't they wouldn't call it work. They'd call it a vacation. But going somewhere you enjoy everyday is a pretty good gig.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

My life is pretty much how I'd envisioned it. Except my house is not at the beach. Otherwise, happy.

Esme said...

What a wonderful post, and a much-needed reminder... thank you for writing this, Madam!

calicobebop said...

I think about this topic a lot - especially when I'm having a bad day - but I always come out thinking "Yes, I am happy. I am content." What more could I ask for? Lots, I'm sure - but I have what I need.

On a lighter note - I tagged you in my blog! Hope you get a chance to complete it!

ImpostorMom said...

i think about that too sometimes and I find that choice of college to be a defining one as well. If I hadn't gone to UGA I wouldn't have met my husband and settled here. I wonder if that choice is a defining one for most people.

ImpostorMom said...

i think about that too sometimes and I find that choice of college to be a defining one as well. If I hadn't gone to UGA I wouldn't have met my husband and settled here. I wonder if that choice is a defining one for most people. said...

Ahhhh, the asshole boyfriend... I hear ya sista! I know I had a couple of those and I don't think I know anyone who hasn't had at least one. The male sex should be flash frozen at 12 years old and thawed out at 35. While that certainly wouldn't guarantee that they wouldn't be assholes, it would help soooo much.
I am so glad you got through and by that guy and are happy now. And me, too!

"The Queen in Residence" said...

I came over from the Motherboard.

what a great question and one that I ask myself whenever things are going badly. But then again some of my greatest joys in life are from things unexpected.

Katie in MA said...

I wrote a beautiful comment yesterday and then lost it! Ugh. My post from yesterday was very similar - talking about happiness and what it is and how to find it. What I love about you is your absolute grace in accepting your happiness. I wish I had that. You say, "I am happy." And you ARE. You don't question it; you know it. I feel like I fall off the tracks sometimes because when I *can* say "I'm happy," I follow it up immediately with "But why? Why am I happy? And what's going to happen to take it away?" Teach me how you do it, because your graceful acceptance is a beautiful thing.

Susie said...

Mostly, I am exactly where I thought I'd be. But I also like to think that I am not quite there yet.

Colleen said...

I think I'm with Susie...I'd like to think I'm not quite there yet (hello, job and ridiculous longing for a third baby), but when I sit down and evaluate things, on the whole I'm happy. I'm healthy, my family's healthy; we live in a nice house; and while finances have been very tight as of late, we are surviving, which is more than some of our neighbors can say. We have a good marriage (except for the wrestling about number of kids, ha ha), we have two wonderful silly kids, and great you! So while I might have bad days, it only takes me a short while to realize how blessed and happy we really are.